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Victorian Medical Women's Society (1896 - )

From
1896
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupations
Membership organisation
Website
http://www.afmw.org.au/vic/

Summary

The Victorian Medical Women's Society (VMWS), the pioneer medical women's organisation in Australia, was founded in 1896 as the Women's Medical Association, at the University of Melbourne Medical School. It was established to forge a closer relationship between medical women graduates and undergraduates and to promote the interests of medical wome and further their professional development by education, research and improvement of professional opportunities.
By 1898 it had evolved into a postgraduate society, with meetings held in the consulting rooms of members. In 1927 it formed part of the Australian Federation of Medical Women. It continues to promote the health and welfare of all Australians, in particular women and children.

It promotes the health and welfare of all Australians, in particular women and children.

Details

Members of the Victorian Medical Women's Society founded the Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Babies in 1896, the first hospital in Australia to be staffed entirely by women doctors. Dr Constance Stone was elected the first president of the VMWS with Dr Lillian Alexander its first Honorary Secretary. It celebrated its twenty-five year anniversary with a congress which displayed the activities of the hospital through demonstrations and lectures, and in March 1996 it marked its centenary with a conference held at the Monash Medical Centre. Although the VMWS celebrated its centenary in 1996, it is noted that its foundation meeting was held at the East Melbourne home of Dr Constance Stone on 22 March 1895. Others present included Clara Stone, Mary Page Stone, Lillian Alexander, Elizabeth and Annie O'Hara, Helen Sexton, Grace Vale and Margaret Whyte.

In addition to promoting the health and welfare of all Australians the VMWS continues to further the professional development of medical women and produces its own newsletter.

As of 2004,the VWMS:

Holds bi-monthly meetings, at which a guest speaker presents a topic of clinical or medico-social consequence.
Hold meeting/workshops with other groups of professional women incorporating matters of mutual interest.
Sends a bi-monthly newsletter to members.
Provides an annual directory of members annually to encourage professional net-working.
Provides mentoring opportunities.

Sources used to compile this entry: Hutton Neve, M. ( Marjorie), This mad folly: the history of Australia's pioneer women doctors, Library of Australian History, Sydney, 1980, 174 pp. p. 131.; http://www.afmw.org.au/vic/.

Related entries

Member

Archival resources

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Victorian Medical Women's Society papers, 1912 - 1980, MS 11710, Boxes 1877-1880; Victorian Medical Women's Society (1896 - ); State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Rosemary Francis and Jane Carey

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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ISSN 2207-3124